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  Cathy CARROW

Cathy Carrow, 1977Born: Caernarfon, Wales, 1951... Formed her first band at school in mid-60s, which evolved by '68 into CATHY CARROW AND THE COOKIE CRUMBS who managed to get a number of singles on Tapioca Records. The band continued to have moderate local success through the seventies, before breaking up in 1981, when Cathy went solo. After a few ill-fated collaborations she reluctantly retired only to commit suicide in October 2001. Style: Cookie Crumbs were initially a bubble-gum pop outfit, who progressed to Blondie / Go-Gos style punk-pop under the influence of Carrow's boyfriend JOHN CRAVEN. Carrow's solo output was generally more laid back. Songwriters: all group penned. Trivia: Original eponymous debut album has been known to fetch up to £100.

Recommended: Cathy Carrow and the Cookie Crumbs (*7) / Village Fate (*6) / Raiding the Jar by the Light of the Fridge (*6) / The Kitchen Floor (*5) / Needlecraft and Cookery Club (*5) / Cheated (*7)


CATHY CARROW AND THE COOKIE CRUMBS
 
Catherine Bronwyn Davies was born in Caernarfon, Wales, to parents Griffith and Molly, on Thursday 1st November 1951. She was educated at a local girls' school where she met Lowri Carrow. The two of them became close friends, and formed their first band, the Cookie Crumbs, in the mid sixties, with a changing line-up of other school-friends. The name soon developed into Cathy Carrow and the Cookie Crumbs; Cathy Carrow being a fictional amalgam of the two girls. Shortly after this, the line-up began to steady, with friends Helena Jones and Kelly Summers joining in 1965. Helena subsequently brought in then-boyfriend Tony Merrifield on drums, and the band suddenly became a serious outfit rather than just a gang of school-girls messing about.

The band started playing local church hall gigs and the like, with Cathy and Lowri on vocals and guitars, Helena on piano, Kelly on cello, and Tony on drums. But in October 1966, Lowri died of meningitis.

Her death shook up the band, and Cathy in particular. She apparently became very introverted, and would lock herself away for long periods of time, only coming out to sing with the band for gigs. Her conduct was not helping the dynamics of the band, and Kelly Summers soon left, to be replaced by a bass-playing friend of Tony's called Andy McKay.

It was Andy who got the band going again, and who managed to draw Cathy back out of her shell. Within a fortnight of the apparently "dishy" bassist joining, Cathy was back to pretty much her normal self.

Andy's ability to set things back to relative normality was not just down to his good looks. His dad had a friend at Tapioca Records, and the group were able to wangle a two single junket.

Still under the name Cathy Carrow and the Cookie Crumbs, they put out their two singles in 1968, and promptly became local teen sensations. Tapioca promptly signed them up to a more extensive contract, and the group released their first album in April 1969.

-- Evan Paris.

CATHY CARROW -vocals, guitar, keyboards / HELENA JONES (b.1951) - vocals, guitar, keyboards / ANDY McKAY (b.Edinburgh, 1950) - bass, vocals / TONY MERRIFIELD (b.Shrewsbury, 1949)- drums, vocals

Releases on Tapioca:

Jun '68 (7" - Tap468062) OH HONESTLY / SUMMER SUNDAYS
Oct '68 (7" - Tap468102) MAYBE YOU DO / FAIR ENOUGH, JUST NOT RIGHT HERE
Feb '69 (7" - Tap469022) IF YOU CLOSE YOUR EYES / EASIER BACK HERE
Apr '69 (lp - Tap369041) CATHY CARROW AND THE COOKIE CRUMBS
- Oh Honestly / Just About / If You Close Your Eyes / Fair Enough, Just Not Right Here / What Do I Have To Do To Win Scrabble Against You? / Maybe You Do / Too Bad I'm a Nut / Easier Back Here / What Do You Mean By That? / Mad Enough / Took Me to the Bay / Last Drink of the Night. (cd-iss. Nov'02 - ClustACC10CD) (cd+=) Summer Sundays / Mad Enough (Single Version) / If You Close Your Eyes (Early Live Recording with Lowri Carrow)
-- All tracks are credited to "Cathy Carrow and the Cookie Crumbs" who are listed on the sleeve as "Cathy Carrow, Helena Jones, Andy McKay and Tony Merrifield". It was from this point onwards that Cathy Davies assumed the full-time stage-name Cathy Carrow.
By 1975, when the band re-signed to Clustcwyr, she called herself Cathy Carrow even outside the music business.
Aug '69 (7" - Tap469081) MAD ENOUGH / WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?

MERRIFIELD leaves to join DISERCH in October, having split up with Jones. He is replaced by CHRIS HOLLAND - drums, vocals, and his girlfriend  KIRSTEN MAY - guitars, vocals, keyboards

While it's generally accepted that Carrow fancied McKay, nothing ever came of it, and McKay started dating Jones.

Feb '70 (7" - Tap470012) WRECKLESS / WELSH GIRLS ARE WELSH
Jun '70 (7" - Tap470062) MOON OVER MENAI / CALLING ALL CREEPS
Sep '70 (7" - Tap470083) DON'T THINK SO / MAKING OUT WITH MAURICE
Dec '70 (lp - Tap370112) CALLING ALL CREEPS
- Calling All Creeps / And Anyway / Look It Up / Honey Bun / Wreckless / Making Out With Maurice / Welsh Girls Are Welsh / My Hideous Prom Dress / Wet / Bobby's Got a Brand New Scooter / Don't Think So / Moon Over Menai. (cd-iss. Oct'02 - ClustACC9CD) (cd+=) Calling All Creeps (Single Version) / Mabel And Maurice Got Married (Single Version) / Dancing At The Village Hall (Don't Do It, Baby) (Single Version)

CARROW and JONES spent the next few years at university, and the group put out only the occasional single. Their third LP was pieced together gradually, over this drawn out period, during which HOLLAND and MAY split up.
Mar '71 (7" - Tap471032) BOBBY'S GOT A BRAND NEW SCOOTER / MY HIDEOUS PROM DRESS
Oct '71 (7" - Tap471093) DO YOU KNOW THE WAY TO CAPEL CURIG? / MY BABY'S CAR
Feb '72 (7" - Tap472013) SHE DRIVES ME UP THE WALL / MABLE AND MAURICE GOT MARRIED
Jul '72 (7" - Tap472063) CAN'T KEEP UP / DANCING AT THE VILLAGE HALL (DON'T DO IT, BABY)
Nov '72 (7" - Tap472103) YOU'VE GOT TO BE JOKING / SHOPPING BASKET #2
May '73 (7" - Tap473042) NEVER GONNA STOP US / LUCY SAYS SHE'S PREGNANT (BUT SHE JUST WANTS TO BE IN)
Sep '73 (lp - Tap373091) VILLAGE FATE
- Re-develop the Green (We Need a Supermarket) (incorporating Shopping Basket #2) / My Baby's Car / Can't Keep Up / She Drives Me Up the Wall / Do You Know the Way to Capel Curig? / You've Got to be Joking / Lucy Says She's Pregnant (But She Just Wants to be In) / Mable and Maurice (a life story) / Never Gonna Stop Us. (cd-iss. Sep'02 - ClustACC8CD) (cd+=) Can You Stop That, Please? / You Need Feet / Loving the Sunshine / Pan = Bread / Rita Fairclough / Shopping Basket #2 (Single Version)

HOLLAND leaves to found The Seed. Replaced by MICHAEL FOX - drums
May '74 (7" - Tap474041) CAN YOU STOP THAT, PLEASE? / YOU NEED FEET

Tapioca Records folded and the group found themselves without a record company. At the same time, Helena and Andy split up. Consequently, so did the band.

They'd not been split up long when Dafydd Morgan and Gorwel Edwards approached them and asked them to sign to a new label, Clustcwyr. After much discussion, the band agreed to work together sporadically, on a slow trickle of singles.

In 1975, Cathy met Leeds-born avant-rocker John Craven, and the two became an item. He produced the infamous Cookie Crumbs B-side "Rita Fairclough", and co-engineered their first album on Clustcwyr, "Raiding the Jar by the Light of the Fridge". He's generally been regarded as a principle calming influence on the band during what was essentially a difficult period, (Helena and Andy's break-up and all). He's also credited with inspiring the band's later New York Punk -style sound.

-- Evan Paris
Sep '75 (7" - 7CC1) LOVING THE SUNSHINE / PAN = BREAD
Jun '76 (7" - 7CC2) PEARL'S A SWINGER / RITA FAIRCLOUGH
Oct '76 (7" - 7CC3) YOU / ICE CREAM MAKES ME SICKER THAN YOU KNOW
Mar '77 (7" - 7CC4) EVERY TIME I SEE YOU (I FEEL QUITE ILL) / IDIOT CHILD
Sep '77 (m-lp - ACC1) RAIDING THE JAR BY THE LIGHT OF THE FRIDGE
- Every Time I See You (I Feel Quite Ill) / Decidedly Squiffy / I Do / Pearl's A Swinger / Idiot Child / Ooh / You / Ice Cream Makes Me Sicker Than You Know. (cd-iss. Sep'97 (ACC1CD), on the same disc as Needlecraft and Cookery Club)

CARROW and CRAVEN split up when CRAVEN admitted to a one night stand with MAY. The band folded over night, and it took McKAY and JONES (who were now friends again) to get the band together again. With the aid of FOX, they persuaded CARROW and MAY to come back on board.
Oct '79 (7"-ep - EPCC1) MODESTLY / I DO / SHEENA RUNS A COOKERY CLUB / OOH
May '80 (7" - 7CC5) WHAT HAS HONESTY GOT TO DO WITH ANYTHING? / GO!
Nov '80 (lp - ACC2) NEEDLECRAFT AND COOKERY CLUB
- Sheena Runs a Cookery Club / Baked Alaska / Idiot Child / Marks and Sparks / What Has Honesty Got to Do with Anything? / Can You Stop That Please? / Modestly / I Wanna Hurt You But You're Far Too Tough To Break / Needlecraft / Night of a Thousand Cretins / Go!. (cd-iss. Sep'97 (ACC1CD), on the same disc as Raiding the Jar by the Light of the Fridge)
Sep '81 (7" - 7CC6) NIGHT OF A THOUSAND CRETINS / BARMOUTH ROXY

That month, the band split up, with JONES & MAY forming HELENA'S BOX. McKAY & FOX would also join but first backed LIZBET HALLOW.

CATHY CARROW

By this point things were a little grim. Cathy's mother had recently died (her dad had long since left Wales for sunnier shores), and now Cathy was drinking heavily and dabbling with drugs. The rest of the band found her increasingly difficult to work with and by the end of 1981, the band had folded.

By no means a good influence on Cathy (by all accounts) was her new boyfriend Mike Aldritch, bass player with The Dead Unicorns. It is generally accepted that he was the one who got her on heroin - not really an especially common drug in the Welsh scene at that time. Ex-Cookie Crumb and long-time friend of Cathy, Tony Merrifield, introduced the two of them at a party in 1979, and by 1982, the three of them were squatting in a flat in Fishguard.

Cathy fulfilled the Cookie Crumbs contract with the help of Tony and Mike.

-- Evan Paris

With TONY MERRIFIELD on drums and MIKE ALDRITCH (ex-ALAN JONES AND THE DEAD UNICORNS) on bass
Apr '82 (7" - 7CC7) MILFORD HAVEN / SLIGHTLY MIFFED
Oct '82 (7" - 7CC8) LOOKING FOR SOMETHING I MIGHT NOT HAVE LOST / IT
May '83 (lp - ACC3) LOOKING FOR SOMETHING I MIGHT NOT HAVE LOST
- Milford Haven / What's the Weather Like Where You Are? / Summer Sundays / Loving the Sunshine / Chaos, Thou Art Five Letters Long / Totally Moronic / Slightly Miffed / She Spent the Night on the Bathroom Floor / Looking for Something I Might Not Have Lost. (cd-iss. Apr'02 - ACC3CD) (cd+=) It

CATHY CARROW AND DAFYDD MORGAN

Shortly afterwards, she dumped Mike Aldritch, whereupon Andy McKay and Dafydd Morgan paid for her to check into a clinic and get off the heroin. Get off the heroin she did (although she became even more alcoholic as a result), and in 1985, Dafydd persuaded her to record another album. The experience was a strain for Dafydd, who ended up having to do much of the work himself because Carrow was too pissed half of the time. In the end, Cathy gave Dafydd co-credit on the LP.
-- Evan Paris

DAFYDD MORGAN - guitars, tapes, drums, bass, synths
Oct '85 (lp - ACC4) THE KITCHEN FLOOR
- He Told Her That He Loved Her But He Really Wasn't Sure / Last Drink of the Night / I Want Her Head on a Pike / She Didn't Even Make it to the Bathroom Floor / Linoleum Suite / But Next Morning It's Alright. (cd-iss. Apr'02 - ACC4CD)
Track one is about John Craven. Track three is about Kirsten May.

CATHY CARROW AND HER VERY OWN MARGARETS

Cathy's survival over the years that followed is probably largely thanks to Julie Mason, then lead singer with The Margarets. She'd been a big fan of The Cookie Crumbs, and made a point of befriending Cathy and trying to sort her out. Cathy had been living in a caravan but later moved into Julie's cottage on Julie's insistence.

In 1989, Cathy teamed up with the Margarets to record and tour.

-- Evan Paris

Now with THE MARGARETS: JULIE MASON - vocals, bass / TIM GOWER - drums / NICKI FISHER - organ, guitar, vocals / KELLY KENT - guitar, vocals
Aug '89 (lp - ACC5) HIDING IN THE WARDROBE, WAITING FOR THE MAN TO COME
- Someone Let Me Out / Knocking For My Own Sanity / Help Me Melp Me Set Me Free / Is There Anybody Out There Wants To Hear My Song? / Hiding in the Wardrobe, Waiting for the Man to Come / Shoebox Invaders / Free At Last At Long Long Last. (cd-iss. Nov'95 - ACC5CD)

The record wasn't particularly good, and The Margarets split soon after, but Cathy continued to live with Julie
.

Now without FISHER & KENT, who go on to form ROTTEN FRUIT:

CATHY CARROW AND JULIE MASON
Nov '92 (7" - 7CC9) CHEATED / MY BEDROOM CEILING
Mar '93 (lp - ACC6) LEINIAU LESBIAD
- Can't Get to the Bar for the Rugby Girls / Cheated / Well and Truly / He's So Rugged (I Think I Want to Kill Him with an Axe) / Irritating Friends / Thigh Master / Long Distance Clara / Kissing in Public but Never in Private / Who's Afraid of Keifer Sutherland? / My Bedroom Ceiling / Girl Guides are Such Bitches. (cd-iss. Nov'95 - ACC6CD)

MASON persues a solo career, with CARROW as a co-writer.

In 1997, Julie left Wales to marry long-time boyfriend, Tim Gower, and start a new life in America. She left Cathy the cottage, and Cathy remained there. She started drinking again, and stopped attending Clustcwyr functions. In the last few years, she became more and more insular, to the point at which she hardly ever left the house.

On October 31st, the day before her 50th birthday, she took an overdose of sleeping pills. Her body wasn't found until three weeks later, when Julie made an impromptu visit.

Cathy Carrow and the Cookie Crumbs are one of two key bands in the history of the Clustcwyr label (the other band being Et Cetera). They directly spawned Diserch, The Seed, and Helena's Box. They were, a big influence on The Margarets. Cathy herself had a noticeable effect on the work of ex-boyfriend John Craven. None of this would've happened without Cathy Davies and Lowri Carrow forming The Cookie Crumbs at a girls' school in the mid-sixties. Think on.

-- Evan Paris

CATHY CARROW
Feb '02 (d-cd - ACC7CD) CHEATED - THE BEST OF CATHY CARROW
- THE TAPIOCA YEARS (1968-1974): Oh Honestly / Summer Sundays / Maybe You Do / If You Close Your Eyes / Mad Enough / Last Drink of the Night / Wreckless / Moon Over Menai / Calling All Creeps / Don't Think So / My Hideous Prom Dress / Bobby's Got A Brand New Scooter / Do You Know the Way to Capel Curig? / She Drives Me Up the Wall / Can't Keep Up / You've Got To Be Joking / Lucy Says She's Pregnant (But She Just Wants To Be In) / Never Gonna Stop Us / Can You Stop That, Please? / You Need Feet / THE CLUSTCWYR YEARS (1975-1993): Loving the Sunshine / Pan = Bread / Pearl's a Swinger / Rita Fairclough / You / Every Time I See You (I Feel Quite Ill) / Modestly / Sheena Runs a Cookery Club / What Has Honesty Got to Do with Anything? / Go! / Barmouth Roxy / Milford Haven / Looking for Something I Might Not Have Lost / She Spent the Night on the Bathroom Floor / He Told Her That He Loved Her But He Wasn't Really Sure / Hiding in the Wardrobe, Waiting for the Man to Come / Help Me, Melp Me, Set Me Free / Cheated

THE COOKIE CRUMBS

Release DVD of 1977 concert film, and other live performances:
Jun '03 (dvd - DCC1) COOKIE JAR
- Calling All Creeps / Every Time I See You (I Feel Quite Ill) / Maybe You Do / You've Got To Be Joking / You / Don't Think So / Can't Keep Up / Do You Know the Way to Capel Curig? / Decidedly Squiffy / Pearl's a Swinger / Out in the Streets / She Drives Me Up the Wall / Lucy Says She's Pregnant (But She Just Wants to Be In) / Wreckless / Idiot Child / If You Close Your Eyes / I Do / Moon Over Menai / I Can Never Go Home Anymore / Too Bad I'm A Nut / Rita Fairclough / Never Gonna Stop Us / Can You Stop That, Please? / Oh Honestly / Will You Still Love Me  Tomorrow? / Ice Cream Makes Me Sicker Than You Know / Bobby's Got a Brand New Scooter / My Hideous Prom Dress / Mad Enough // Mad Enough (HTV version) / Moon Over Menai (HTV version) / My Hideous Prom Dress (HTV version) / Cat Fighting (Helena's Box) / Never Trust a Cowboy (Helena Jones) // LLETHRITH TRACKS: Y Pont / Annatodol / Ai e? / Cog / Igam-ogam / Oriel / Mytholeg / Llygoden / Lleuad Maen



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